Praising God in All Circumstances – Psalm 34

PSALM 34:17-22

[17] The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
[18] The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
[19] Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
[20] He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
[21] Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
[22] The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. (KJV)

David starts the first 9 verses of Psalm 34 (not shown here) by saying that he will bless the Lord at all times, even in times of adversity.

Instead of trusting God to look after him, David chose to run away from Saul who wrongly wanted him killed. David had lost his faith and was attempting to solve problems in his own way.

David starts his long journey off by going into the Tabernacle (God’s house) but instead of being built up, he goes downhill. He lies to the Priest Ahimelech. He says he’s on business for the King. He uses the same excuse to get bread and a sword. He had the opportunity to tell the Priest the truth and possibly the priest could have helped him find God again.

David is not doing well. So far he has left his family and friends behind; he has lied to a Priest and is possibly going to try to blend in with the people of Gath. Leaving the temple, he headed right into the midst of the Philistines in Gath, carrying the very sword he had used to cut off Goliath’s head. He was captured and that’s when he found his faith again and wrote Psalm 56.

For the next part, some Scholars believe that David had the help of God and some believe that David acted of his own accord. Regardless David gave the appearance of a mad man and so they allowed him to leave, free.

Even though David was now safe from the Philistines, Saul’s men where still looking for him. David was reduced to living in caves. Although he was considered a fugitive, hiding out, having little to eat, with no end in sight to these conditions, he takes the time to write Psalm 34 with love and thanksgiving to God.

Beginning at verse 17 – A righteous (virtuous) cry can only be given by those who are holy and standing upright in the Lord. David; had been far away from God, but had found his way back and was now taking the time to honour God.

When God’s children come to him with a broken heart, he hears us. God also saves all people who come to Him with a contrite spirit (afflicted by guilt and expressing remorse), those crying out for mercy, he gives mercy.

As David shows, righteous believers are not exempt of problems but will go through many different afflictions that cause pain and/or suffering, even though we are counted as God’s children. God has allowed adversity into our lives because he wants to see growth in us.

He wants his children to realize that if we have trust in Him, the situation will be resolved, albeit, in God’s timing, not ours, in His way, not ours. He wants us to learn to stay in faith, while we wait on him. He wants us to learn to stop, to pray, to listen and/or to watch for the Holy Spirit’s leading.

David reminds us that as believers, we are never alone during these battles. The Lord will help us! Though we will sometimes get battle scars, they will be righteous ones.

David tells us that Jesus can take care of our bodies, (as he did for himself) but our body is not what The Lord is concerned about, it’s our spirit that matters to him.

Ever since the fall of Adam, everyone is guilty of sin. However, every person is given the choice to stay in sin or repent, giving the sin over to Jesus.

Those who choose to remain in sin, will die alone, in the bondage of evil. Those who choose righteousness, through Jesus Christ, will be freed from their sin and never be alone.

When David was running from Saul, he committed many sins and had lost his faith in God to help him. However, we see in this Psalm that David found his faith again. His faith didn’t come after God helped him but right in the midst of his problems.

No matter what we go through: good or bad, a righteous believer will always find a way to praise God!

(For more of this story, read the following chapters, in their entirety: Psalm 34, 1 Samuel 18 right through 1 Samuel 31 and also Psalm 54.

Heavenly Father

Do I go through trials? Absolutely! Do I lean on you to help me handle the problems? Yes Lord I do, most of the time.

Like in David’s circumstance, sometimes the trials seem so large that I have cowered down and hidden away. Instead of turning to you, I sometimes freeze and don’t know what to do.

Once in a while, I forget to call out to you and I take the matter into my own hands, hoping for a good solution that never comes.

Father, sometimes you call out to me, but I don’t listen. It seems like my ears are covered. Those are the times that I live in my own sorrow.

This scripture of David has taught me that as your child, you will give me the strength to always find peace in you, regardless of the situation. Thank you Father, that you wait patiently for me to find my way back to you, in the times I may wander.

Help me Lord, to know that your solution may not be the one of my choice. Help me remember that periodically I will have to fight hard and stand my ground, in an effort to win the battle. Remind me that although there will be times when I receive battle wounds in the process, I can stand through anything, with you beside me. Remind me to start each day covered with the Armour of God.

The unsaved cannot understand how believers can live in peace, even when our lives are crashing in all around us.

The wicked who prefer to fight their own battles, lose in so many ways. It may appear, at times, that they have won the battle, but at the end of time, they will realize in dismay, that they have lost the war.

At the end of our lives, EVERY person will bow to God and give an account of the way we lived. The outcome: the wicked will be overtaken by evil and the righteous will be saved and redeemed, by Jesus Christ.

I know Lord that the choices I make each and every day, are very important. They will determine my final resting place. David reminds me that with true repentance, all will be forgiven and I will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God for eternity.

Thank you that I have felt the peace of the Lord, many, many times but I’m always shocked at how tranquil I can feel, in the midst of turmoil.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen

Suffering – Philippians 1:28-30

Philippians 1:

[28] And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
[29] For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
[30] Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

The Church of Philippi was apparently under persecution for trying to share their faith in Jesus with others.

Paul writes to them from the prison in Rome and tells them not to worry about anything their adversaries may do to them. He says they have been especially picked by God, knowing they have the strength to stand up to the persecution.

Paul tells the Philippians that the people who are terrifying them cannot do anything that could outweigh the rewards that will be given to them by God and that those people have already set their eternal, damnation punishment. However the Philippians standing in Christ are saved and their reward will be an eternal destination with God.

Paul asks them to remember how he had been persecuted while he was with them. He reminds them that even now in Rome, he is an innocent victim, and yet has been put in prison for his faith in Christ.

Paul continues to say that those in true faith can stand the persecution that are given to them. They shouldn’t despair when they are suffering but should count it as a blessing and rejoice that God will give them the strength to endure whatever happens to them, as God has done for him.

In verse 30 the Philippians are prompted by Paul to recall the way he had been tortured (see Acts 16:19-40) while he was with them and to keep in mind the situation, in Rome, that he is presently in.

Paul encourages them, reminding that to be persecuted in the name of Jesus is truly an honour. An honour that he has been privileged to endure many times during his time on earth and is encouraging them to do the same.

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Father God,

What a blessing Paul was to the Philippians. He was able to stand in faith and show them the way to endure whatever they came up against.

The encouragement didn’t stop when he moved on to other places. Paul continued to preach about Christ wherever he went.

Even while in prison in Rome (preparing to be tried for his life before the Roman emperor) Paul is still able to write and encourage the Philippians to stand strong in faith.

Lord, the 2nd coming of Jesus is drawing closer every day and people need to hear the Gospel now, more than ever before. May I (and other Christians) take a stand and preach your Word without worry.

If I am to spread the Gospel then I ask for the type of courage that you gave to Paul. I am not usually someone who can face confrontation head on, in fact I really dislike it, but I do know – that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Lord, with you by my side, I will tell others of you because I love you so much and I know it’s your desire that no one is lost from Heaven.

You have set me on this earth to spread your Good News and I pray Father that I can accept your assignment and complete it, remaining in faith, no matter what challenges I meet along the way.

I know God that you have equipped me with the armour of God and the faith and strength that I will need to do your work and for that I am grateful.

In the blessed name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray,

Amen

Suffering – Psalms 30:5

cid_018d01c7713c6540a3e06401a8c0-1Psalm 30:

[5] For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.(KJV)

Time has been laid out in a way that we can live by. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years and so on are in place for our convenience. However the Bible tells us that our “time” here on earth is but a moment when speaking of eternity.

Keeping eternity in mind, the author is saying that it may seem like we are out of our Father’s “mercy” for a very long time. However, in the reality of eternity it is but a moment.

We must also remember that God is slow to anger and will quickly forgive. He does not enjoy seeing any of his children sad or unhappy.

When we have lessons to learn we are taught through a teaching that God has allowed. More times than not, at the end of the lesson, we realize that our Heavenly Father was correct in teaching us and that indeed we needed to learn it.

When we finally understand the lesson, God is quick to forgive. The sun will be out and our weeping will stop and we will be closer to our Father than ever before.

Almighty God

Thank you for the many, many lessons I have been taught over the years. Looking back, every single one was something that has drawn me closer to you.

I must admit, that during times of learning, I sometimes wonder where you are. It seems as if I am alone. Quite often new lessons are given in a way that is not pleasing to me.

However I am now beginning to understand that they are given in love. Although I sometime feel as though they will never end, I know they last long because ‘I’ am just not getting the lesson.

As hard as the lessons always are, I thank you that you love me enough to allow me to go through them.

Yes Father, you are quick to anger but much quicker to forgive. Some think that when you anger, you are mad at us. Quite the contrary, love flows out of you regardless of the lesson we need to learn.

I’m so blessed that you love me so much. Thank you Father for all the lessons in my life. Joy most definitely comes in the morning!

In the name of Jesus, I pray.

Amen.christiancommtrials

Suffering – Romans 8: 28

Romans 8:

[28] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV)

godshands-1This was a hard verse for me to understand. But to the best of my knowledge, I understood it to mean the following.

Paul tells us that all things work together for good to them that love God. Not some things but all things will work out for our good.

Because we love God, the Holy Spirit is also within us. He guides us and is our helper.

God wants us to live where he works for our lives…in the present. That’s where the Holy Spirit works…in the present and that is where our Heavenly Father wants us to work… in the present, as we are a part of the process.

Inevitably along come some problems, aggravations, persecutions and the like. God didn’t call them into our lives but he will take them and make them fit into the GOOD outcome he has planned for us. His word says “ALL things work for good to them that love God.”

We can relax in the knowledge and faith that our Heavenly Father has everything under control. We must watch and listen for the Holy Spirits guiding.

We don’t have to worry about tomorrow. We don’t have to call on our Father to help us, he immediately comes and makes any and all circumstances in our lives come together for our good.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what we see with our natural eyes or feel with our natural body. God is always in control of ALL things and all things are made to work in accordance to Gods will.

Divine Father,

I know Lord that sometimes I cruise along and then all of a sudden, it seems like every thing that can go wrong, does.

I usually call on you to take them away. But this particular scripture tells me that I do not have to worry about anything at all. As long as I stay close and continue to love you and have my faith that you are looking over all aspects in my life that I can rest in you.

At one time, before I knew you, I looked at bad things happening in my life as punishment for things I had done wrong. But since I’ve known you as my saviour, I have believed that it is satan throwing what he can at me and I am weak and so I accept it.

I realize now that both of these scenarios are wrong. Bad things happen in my life because I live in a fallen world. There is sin in here because of Adam and Eve and the fall of man and yes the enemy will use those sins to try to draw me away from you, but he is not the one who creates the sin. He does not have that authority, but he can use them for his purposes.

I am not exempt from bad times just because I love you and Jesus is my saviour.

I do however now know that you take ALL of the bad and use it for my good. Your goal is for all of your children to be just like Jesus. My part of this plan is to keep alert and to stay in the here and now. To keep on loving you Father, to have faith in Jesus and follow in obedience the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Did Jesus panic when he was being persecuted? Did Jesus panic when his finances were low? Did Jesus worry about where he would lay his head each night? Did Jesus worry about what he would eat or even how he could feed all the thousands of people who came to see him preaching? Does anywhere in the Bible tell us the time that Jesus panicked? No to all the above questions.

What did Jesus do? He did his part. He praised His Father that God would look after all of His needs and then Jesus followed and did what he was told to do by the Father.

He never worried because he knew he was in his Fathers care. Did bad things happen to Jesus? Was he beaten, stoned, mocked, etc. throughout his time on this earth? Yes! But everything, good and bad, came together to make Jesus the person he was.

I know Father that Jesus lived and died for a greater purpose than we will even know. Father let me be like Jesus. Let me live in the now. Let me follow you Lord and not worry about anything but continue to praise you for all you have done and everything that you are doing right now in my life. I pray my life will be lived for whatever the bigger purpose is.

Thank you Father for all you do each and every day.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I pray.

Amen.

Suffering – Romans 5:

Romans 5:

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (KJV)

I believe that Paul is saying that every person on earth is going to go through tribulations (difficult situations). Many people think that because they are Christians, God will keep the hard trials of life away from them. Quite the opposite!

Every person, Christian or otherwise, can tell you of the difficult times they went or are going through. By living with the tribulations we start to gain patience. We need the patience to endure the troubles. What good does it do to complain and try to fight it. We have to learn to live through the tribulations. We learn to relax with the patience and peace that passes understanding, knowing that the Lord is right there with us and there is always a reason why, even if we don’t know it.

With patience gained, we can now live through the experience, knowing it is happening for a special reason. So we ask, what can I learn? How can I change? How can I get through this situation when there seems to be no hope? That is why the Lord gives us the patience first. We don’t need to know all the answers. The only thing we need to do is to have total trust and patience in our Father and watch and listen for his leading.

Many people of the world live with hope but unfortunately it is a hope with no foundation. A Christian’s hope is founded in the love of the Father. We don’t have to worry about our hope letting us down. Our hope is given to us through the Holy Spirit and is based on a firm, steady foundation, of the Lord.

A Christian soon learns that although we go through tribulations, we will always make it through.

We have that steady foundation of knowing and loving God. This scripture assures us that we, as Christian’s will gain patience through the tribulations, then gain experience through the patience and finally hope. Each step along this path has brought us closer to The Lord.

When tribulation comes, a Christian should welcome it and count it as a way of learning. That doesn’t mean we should go looking for it but when we are faced with a difficult situation, we should be thanking God for the lessons we are about to learn.

Some ask – doesn’t that show that he is a non-loving God because he allows us go through tribulations? Not at all! Quite the opposite, we go through them so we can help others (and ourselves) with what we have learned from our experiences. We are proof that the trials we go through can bring patience, experience and hope.

Heavenly Father, Almighty God,

I thank you Father for all of the tribulations I have gone through, am going through or will go through in the future.

Do I like them? No, not at all, but I am thankful for them because they do draw me closer to you.

Scripture (2 Corinthians 12:10) says… When I am weak, then I am strong. How true that is! When I am at my lowest and I feel that you have forgotten me, my faith grows stronger and there you are.

I have learned over the years as a Christian not to question anything, good or bad that is happening in my life, but to give you praise in all circumstances.

You know the lessons I need in my life, lessons that will draw me closer to you. Lessons that will help me learn to lean on and trust you in all circumstances.

I thank you Father that you give me patience first before the experience and then hope. You have supplied me with all I need to get me through every situation. May I always remember to listen for your voice and lean on you.

Thank you Father for working in my life. Thank you for giving me Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help me. I am so very blessed.

In the name of your Son and my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen